100TH CONVENTION WILL BE ONE-OF-A-KIND Lions often declare after an international convention: “greatest ever.” Chances are they’ll be saying in July: “the greatest ever—ever.” The 100th International Convention, set for June 30 to July 4 in Chicago, will be an extravaganza and then some. On tap is an all-star lineup of entertainers and speakers, a stirring torch ceremony to mark the centennial, and, on the last day, signifying that Lions are now looking ahead to their next 100 years, the official announcement of a new service focus (supplementing, not replacing current efforts) and the LCI Forward plan. Chances are they’ll be saying in July: ‘the greatest ever—ever.’ Performing at the convention will be Chicago, the Beach Boys, the Charlie Daniels Band, Patti LaBelle, David Archuleta of “American Idol” fame, American English (a Beatles cover band), Anna Fermin, the Blues Brothers Revue, the African Children’s Choir and Edward and Belinda Lee. Former U.S. Vice President Al Gore will be the keynoter. Keller Johnson-Thompson, Helen Keller’s great-grandniece, will also speak. The centennial will be front and center at the convention, and Lions will be active participants in the celebration. During the torch ceremony at the first plenary session, Lions will be given their own mini-torches. The convention hall will feature a dazzling centennial exhibit, unpacking the wonderful history of Lions through interactive and virtual displays. The gathering in Chicago also will include all the usual elements of convention: the Parade of Nations (on State Street, that great street, no less), the flag ceremony, voting for international officers and directors, seminars and endless opportunities to meet with Lions from across the world. Lions also can book bus tours to Lions’ headquarters in Oak Brook or to founder Melvin Jones’ remade gravesite in the south suburbs. An option for sports fan is to purchase a ticket for the White Sox game against the Yankees on Thursday, June 29. Convention is a capstone experience for Lions. Members learn about other club and district projects and make personal connections with international leaders and representatives from headquarters. The week together allows Lions to fully appreciate what it means to be a Lion and what our service accomplishes. At this convention, members will understand and celebrate what Lions have achieved over the last 100 years. Extra Digital Content What’s a convention in Chicago like? Pretty spectacular. At the 2007 convention, Lions were treated to a ghostly oration from Helen Keller, the melodic hits of Glen Campbell and a rousing gospel choir. In 1967, the 50th anniversary of Lions Clubs, 48,586 Lions and guests attended the convention and heard from illustrious speakers including U.S. Secretary of State Dean Rusk and film star Dorothy Lamour. The parade down Michigan Avenue at the 1953 convention drew a crowd of 300,000, and Helen Keller spoke to Lions. The Centennial Convention will feature Chicago (shown at the “Bean” in Millennium Park) The Beach Boys The Charlie Daniels Band David Archuleta American English and the Blues Brothers Revue.
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